Friday, November 26, 2010

Lets Get Fibre Active!


What if I told you there is an ingredient in certain foods that could help you reduce your risk of constipation, hemorrhoids, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, obesity, colon cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Would you be interested to know what that ingredient was?


The magic ingredient is.. FIBRE! Fibre is one of nature's great ingredients that does wonders for our body. Fibre is a virtually indigestible substance that is found mainly in the outer layers of plants. Fibre is a special type of carbohydrate that passes through the human digestive system virtually unchanged, without being broken down into nutrients. Carbohydrates constitute the main source of energy for all body functions; (ehealth MD).

Fibre has huge effects on our digestive processes since it is indigestible. There are two types of fibre that we consume, Soluble and Insoluble Fibre.
  • Soluble Fibre-is made up of polysaccharides (carbohydrates that contain three or more molecules of simple carbohydrates), and dissolves in water. It has a beneficial effect on body chemistry, such as lowering blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
  • Insoluble Fibre-is mainly made up of plant cell walls, and it cannot be dissolved in water. It has a good laxative action.
By consuming both types of fibre our bodies reap double the benefits.
  • Fibre demands that food be more thoroughly chewed. It slows down the eating process and helps contribute to a feeling of being full, which in turn can help prevent obesity from overeating.
  • Fibre makes food more satisfying, probably because the contents of the stomach are bulkier and stay there longer.
  • Fibre slows digestion and absorption so that glucose (sugar) in food enters the bloodstream more slowly, which keeps blood sugar on a more even level.
  • Fibre is broken down in the colon     The main part of the large intestine, responsible for absorbing water and salts from the digested products of the small intestine, and passing the digested products into the rectum for removal from the body. (the main part of the large intestine) by bacteria (a process called fermentation), and the simple organic acids produced by this breakdown helps to nourish the lining of the colon.
  • These acids also provide fuel for the rest of the body, especially the liver, and may have an important role in metabolism.
So now that you know what fibre is and how it can help you, you might be wondering exactly what types of foods contain fibre and in what amounts. A good diet should contain approximately 25 to 30 grams of fibre a day. An average adult eats only half this amount. Below is a great chart which gives a list of great fibre dense foods:

List of High Fibre Foods
(The fibre count for most packaged foods can be found on the label.)

FRUITAMOUNTFIBER (grams)
Apples with skin1 medium
5.00
Apricot3 medium
0.98
Apricots, dried5 pieces
2.89
Banana1 medium
3.92
Blueberries1 cup
4.18
Cantaloupe, cubes1 cup
1.28
Figs, dried2 medium
3.74
Grapefruit1/2 medium
6.12
Orange, navel1 medium
3.40
Peach1 medium
2.00
Peaches, dried3 pieces
3.18
Pear1 medium
5.08
Plum1 medium
1.00
Raisins1.5 oz box
1.60
Raspberries1 cup
8.34
Strawberries1 cup
3.98



VEGETABLESAMOUNTFIBER (grams)
Avocado (fruit)1 medium
11.84
Beets, cooked1 cup
2.85
Beet greens1 cup
4.20
Bok choy, cooked1 cup
2.76
Broccoli, cooked1 cup
4.5
Brussels sprouts1 cup
2.84
Cabbage, cooked1 cup
4.20
Carrot1 medium
2.00
Carrot, cooked1 cup
5.22
Cauliflower, cooked1 cup
3.43
Cole slaw1 cup
4.00
Collard greens, cooked1 cup
2.58
Corn, sweet1 cup
4.66
Green beans1 cup
3.95
Celery1 stalk
1.02
Kale, cooked1 cup
7.20
Onions, raw1 cup
2.88
Peas, cooked1 cup
8.84
Peppers, sweet1 cup
2.62
Pop corn, air-popped3 cups
3.60
Potato, baked w/skin1 medium
4.80
Spinach, cooked1 cup
4.32
Summer squash, cooked1 cup
2.52
Sweet potato, cooked1 cup
5.94
Swiss chard, cooked1 cup
3.68
Tomato1 medium
1.00
Winter squash, cooked1 cup
5.74
Zucchini, cooked1 cup
2.63



CEREAL, GRAINS, PASTAAMOUNTFIBER (grams)
Bran cereal1 cup
19.94
Bread, whole wheat1 slice
2.00
Oats, rolled dry1 cup
12.00
Pasta, whole wheat1 cup
6.34
Rice, dry brown1 cup
7.98



BEANS, NUTS, SEEDSAMOUNT
FIBER (grams)
Almonds1 oz
4.22
Black beans, cooked1 cup
14.92
Cashews1 oz
1.00
Flax seeds3 tbs
6.97
Garbanzo beans, cooked1 cup
5.80
Kidney beans, cooked1 cup
13.33
Lentils, red cooked1 cup
15.64
Lima beans, cooked1 cup
13.16
Peanuts1 oz
2.30
Pistachio nuts1 oz
3.10
Pumpkin seeds1/4 cup
4.12
Soybeans, cooked1 cup
7.62
Sunflower seeds1/4 cup
3.00
Walnuts1 oz
3.08
(Chart taken from commensensehealth.com)

Remember, if your goal is fat loss you should be eating your grain based fibres after your workouts to effectively fuel your body at the right time so it doesn't store the excess carbs as fat.

If your diet has been depleted of fibre than it is best to start slowly, over 2-4 weeks, by incorporating some of the foods in the above chart. Don't start a high-fibre diet overnight! Your goal is to consume your daily recommendation of 25-30 grams of fibre a day after those 2-4 weeks. It's important to drink more fluids when you increase the amount of fibre you eat. You should drink at least eight glasses of water a day, especially when increasing your fibre intake.

I hope this post has helped shed some light on the importance that fibre plays in promoting a long and healthy life. Feel free to leave your comments or questions below!

Yours in Great Health,
Ryan

2 comments:

  1. Hello,
    I have a question about your blog, could you email me?
    David

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm saving the table. Very helpful. thanks

    ReplyDelete